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Congress Set to Roll Back Social Security Gun Ban

Friday, January 27, 2017

Congress Set to Roll Back Social Security Gun Ban

Next week, Congress is expected to begin the review and potential repeal of a host of Obama Administration regulations put in place during the last 60 days of Obama’s tenure under the Congressional Review Act (CRA).  Among the regulations specifically targeted for action is the Obama-era Social Security Administration (SSA) gun grab, enacted in the waning days of the anti-gun president’s tenure.

As we reported last month, the rule would for the first time in the nation’s history co-opt the SSA into a gun control apparatus by labeling certain Supplemental Security Income and Disability recipients as “mental defectives” and reporting them to the FBI’s gun ban database. Possession of firearms by these individuals would then become a federal felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The rule, as the SSA itself has admitted, has nothing to do with the individuals’ propensity for violence or self-harm. Rather, the affected persons would be mostly law-abiding individuals singled out because they receive benefits for any of a wide-range of mental disorders (e.g., anxiety, bulimia, obsessive compulsive disorder, etc.) and have a representative payee assigned to help them manage their SSA funds. The Obama White House estimated that some 75,000 people would be reported each year under the new guideline.

While the rule would require reported beneficiaries to be notified of their banned status, it would not give them a chance to defend their suitability to exercise their Second Amendment rights until after they had already been prohibited. At that point, they would be required to file a petition, at their own expense, for “relief from disabilities.” The rule requires petitioners to obtain an expensive and time-consuming mental health evaluation and to disprove risks to the public safety and interest the government never established, or even tried to establish, in the first place.

More than 91,000 comments were submitted on the rule, the overwhelming majority of them in opposition to it. Comments submitted by mental health professionals and advocates for the mentally ill pointed out that the proposal was not supported by evidence or science, added to the stigma of mental illness, and created disincentives for mentally ill persons to seek help and benefits to which they are entitled.

Yet the SSA brushed all these concerns aside in rushing the rule to completion before Barack Obama left office. Confronted with evidence that the rule was illegal, unconstitutional, counter-productive, and would do nothing to further public safety, the SSA simply asserted it was necessary to fulfill a bureaucratic imperative urged on the agency by the Obama Department of Justice.

It’s a shame that the already crowded congressional calendar has to be burdened simply with clearing the minefield Barack Obama intentionally laid to stall and hinder his successor. But it’s encouraging that Congress is taking such swift action to do exactly that.

NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox praised the move in statements to the press on Wednesday. “Congress’ decision to review the Obama administration’s back-door gun grab is a significant step forward in protecting a fundamental constitutional right for law-abiding gun owners,” he said.

You can help by contacting your Congressional representative and urging him or her to vote “yes” on the joint resolution to overturn the SSA’s gun ban rule under the Congressional Review Act. Use the Write Your Federal Lawmakers feature on the NRA-ILA’s website or call the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

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Maryland: Pro-Carry Legislation Pending Final Vote on House Floor

Monday, March 20, 2017

Maryland: Pro-Carry Legislation Pending Final Vote on House Floor

Today, the Maryland House of Delegates passed House Bill 1036 on second reading.

Ohio: Critical Self-Defense Law Takes Effect Today!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ohio: Critical Self-Defense Law Takes Effect Today!

Today, March 21, the provisions of the critical self-defense legislation, Sub. Senate Bill 199, go into effect.  Thanks to your active involvement last session, this bill was signed by Governor Kasich last December.  This law ...

Maryland: House Passes Pro-Carry Legislation

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Maryland: House Passes Pro-Carry Legislation

Yesterday, the Maryland House of Delegates passed House Bill 1036 by a 97-41 vote.

Illinois: Gun Seizure Bill Could be Heard by House at Any Time

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Illinois: Gun Seizure Bill Could be Heard by House at Any Time

The Illinois House of Representatives could consider House Bill 2354 at any time.

Are Ear Plugs Better Than a Suppressor?

Hunting  

News  

Friday, March 17, 2017

Are Ear Plugs Better Than a Suppressor?

On March 13, the gun control group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, posted a tweet claiming:  “FACT:  Silencers do not protect your hearing.”  An infographic accompanied the tweet with the additional claim “You know what protects ...

Idaho: Senate Passes Concealed Carry Amendment

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Idaho: Senate Passes Concealed Carry Amendment

Yesterday, March 20, the Idaho Senate passed House Bill 93 by a 35-0 vote.  Introduced by state Representative Don Cheatham (R-3B) and sponsored on the floor by state Senator Marv Hagedorn (R-14), HB 93 would amend current law ...

Nevada: Senate Passes Anti-Gun SB 115

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Nevada: Senate Passes Anti-Gun SB 115

Yesterday, March 21, the Senate passed anti-gun Senate Bill 115 with a 12-9 vote.  SB 115 was sent to the Assembly for further consideration.  Sponsored by state Senator Moises Denis (D-2), SB 115 would expand the list ...

European Parliament Passes Stringent New Gun Controls

News  

Friday, March 17, 2017

European Parliament Passes Stringent New Gun Controls

On March 14, the European Union completed one of the final steps in imposing stringent new gun controls across the political bloc, when the European Parliament approved legislation to alter the EU Firearms Directive by ...

North Dakota: Constitutional/Permitless Carry Bill Passes Committee and Headed to Senate Floor

Monday, March 20, 2017

North Dakota: Constitutional/Permitless Carry Bill Passes Committee and Headed to Senate Floor

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee recommended do-pass to House Bill 1169 by a 4-2 vote.  HB 1169 could go to the Senate floor as early as tomorrow.  Please contact your state Senator and politely urge them to ...

Pro-gun Bills Introduced to Reform FOPA, Protect Interstate Transport of Firearms for Lawful Use

Gun Laws  

News  

Friday, March 17, 2017

Pro-gun Bills Introduced to Reform FOPA, Protect Interstate Transport of Firearms for Lawful Use

Pro-gun members of Congress have introduced legislation to protect travelers who are transporting firearms interstate for lawful purposes.

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NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.